Juventus put faith and resources into Andrea Pirlo’s vision but it’s still the Cristiano Ronaldo show

When Alvaro Morata is in his element, he can be counted among the elite centre forwards in world football. The striker struggled to find his mojo in recent years at Chelsea and Atletico Madrid but a return to Juventus has served him well. He...

Juventus put faith and resources into Andrea Pirlo’s vision but it’s still the Cristiano Ronaldo show
When Alvaro Morata is in his element, he can be counted among the elite centre forwards in world football. The striker struggled to find his mojo in recent years at Chelsea and Atletico Madrid but a return to Juventus has served him well. He signed for The Old Lady on loan from the Spanish outfit this summer and his early form this season already suggests a permanent deal lies in wait. The 28-year-old has been directly involved in five of Juventus’ seven goals in all competitions this term and should’ve contributed more but for his tendency to stray offside. Morata has been a bright spark and rare positive for the Bianconeri this season. But he’s not Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite missing Juventus’ last five games after testing positive for COVID-19, the Portuguese needed just three minutes off the bench to match his team-mate’s tally for the season, and a further 17 to surpass it. ‘Well done, Alvaro. But I’ll be stepping back into that spotlight now, thanks.’ That spotlight may as well be a Bat Signal. Juventus were in a spot of bother against newly-promoted Spezia, drawing 1-1 by the break and struggling to gain the upper hand. Summoning a five-time Ballon d’Or winner off the bench for a rescue act was the obvious move and Ronaldo was only too happy to deliver. Morata, the scorer of the opener, played in the 35-year-old who rounded the keeper to hand his side the lead. His mere presence on the pitch seemed to lift the team, and disarm the opposition. Once Adrien Rabiot extended the lead, Ronaldo converted a penalty won by Federico Chiesa with a Panenka finish to truly underline his return. Just like that, a potential upset was transformed into a convincing victory. Not all heroes wear capes.